Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2015
The Batson family’s involvement in transport began in the early 1930’s when Grandfather, Phil Denman, operated a bullock team hauling logs and timber in the Jimna area in Queensland. With the advent of the internal combustion engine and the new ‘horseless carriage’ the ever reliable bullock team was eventually replaced with a one ton Chevrolet truck. To this day, the Batson brothers still drive Chevy Silverado utes.
In 1939, the family relocated and John and Rob Batson started a transport business delivering timber to the Byron Bay meatworks and distributing ESSO fuel products using a GMC and a six ton Ford. In 1968 Bob and Bert Batson, together with their wives Denise and Christine, formed R&B Batson Pty Ltd, a sand and gravel; quarrying and supply business. They borrowed $21,000 and set about the establishment of one of the first ready mix concrete plants on the north coast. By 1981 the business had grown to six agitator trucks and was sold off to Farley & Lewis.
During the period from 1974 to 1980, Bob and Bert’s brother Phil was running a Kenworth on tanker work for Fluid Freight. In 1984 the four brothers, Bob, Bert, Phil and Keith and wives Denise, Christine, Jenny and Susan, formed Batson Sand and Gravel Pty Ltd & Leisurescapes (a landscape supply and design business) at Byron Bay. The company grew from an initial staff of 14 to over 50 people. The truck fleet consisted predominately of Kenworth tippers of varying configurations. Keith, as managing Director, was active in pioneering of many new innovations in the transport and quarrying industries namely:
- One of the first businesses awarded ISO 9002 Quality Accreditation
- New South Wales Best Business Practice award winner
- One of the first 28 businesses invited to form the Road Tpt Forum, forms to set a platform for industry reform
- Systems Award for OH&S
In 2002, Leisurescapes was sold to Terry and Libby Batson who operate from the original BS&G site in Byron Bay. BS&G was sold to outside interests. Sadly Bob passed away in 2010. Bert, Phil and Keith remain involved in various business interests and are well committed to many community service projects.